From season finale to RnB festival: What’s on in Brisbane this weekend

From boundary-pushing performances and Queensland Theatre’s hyped season finale, to RnB festivals, reggae concerts and adults-only magic shows, this weekend has it all. Take a peek at this handy guide of things to do in Brisbane and get out there and enjoy the final weeks of spring!

Festivals, live shows and outdoor events
MELT Festival has returned to take over Brisbane Powerhouse for a forward and fearless annual celebration of queer culture, art, artists, allies and ideas. The spectacular program of events, performances, exhibitions and installations runs until Sunday November 26 – and there’s plenty to experience this weekend. Don’t miss BunnyMELT Festival must-see, where the boundaries of desire, trust, consent and communion are explored using the physical properties of rope and knots – as well as audience interaction. You can witness the genre-bending Bunny performances at Brisbane Powerhouse this week only, with four shows nightly from Wednesday to Saturday – grab your tickets here. On Thursday night, Powerhouse Theatre welcomes multi-award winning Australian comedian, writer, actor and presenter, Rhys Nicholson, to launch their debut book ‘Dish’ with a little help from host and funny gal, Mel Buttle.

Be sure to check out MELT Festival’s two exhibitions – Paul Yore’s BECOME WHAT YOU ARE, featuring a display of intricate and laborious textile work, and Places of Worshipa photographic series by internationally-celebrated performance artists The Huxleys. Oh, and in case you missed it – Brisbane Powerhouse is now home to Dendy Powerhouse Outdoor Cinema – Brisbane’s first permanent outdoor cinema. Film-loving folks can now kick back in a lounge chair to the latest blockbusters, arthouse flicks, classic films and more with a choc-top in hand. Jump here for this weekend’s session times and tickets.

Action-packed annual cultural festival Wynnum Fringe is back to light up the bayside with one helluva party from November 15 to December 3. The stacked three-week program features everything from rock concerts and cabaret shows to comedy, street theatre, adults-only magic shows, drag burlesque, dance eisteddfods, Spiegeltent spectaculars and more. This weekend, check out events like Date Night, the Shrek-inspired Swamplesque or get rowdy at the Adults Only Magic Show. Take a peek at all of the Wynnum Fringe happenings and secure your seats here.

Live Music
One-day festival of RnB and hip-hop bangers Fridayz Live is back for its sixth year, with Boyz II Men, Jason Derulo, Flo Rida, Kelly Rowland, JoJo, 112, Baby Bash and Travie McCoy to take over Brisbane Showgrounds this (you guessed it) Friday. Keen to get low? Final tickets are selling here. British EDM megastar Example is taking to The Princess Theatre stage on Friday night, while global pop phenomenon Robbie Williams is playing two (now sold-out shows) at Sirromet Wines on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for a night of jammin’ with reggae royalty The Original Wailers at The Triffid on Saturday night are still available online, while over at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, US rapper and musician Joji will wow the crowds for the Australian leg of his Pandemonium Tour.

MELT Festival’s massive live-music program is in full swing this weekend, with Brisbane-based artist Elizabeth bringing her dream-pop haze in a special pay-what-you-can event at Brisbane Powerhouse’s Underground Theatre on Thursday night. Then on Saturday, the heartbeat-like rhythms of Alter Boy, supported by alt-pop virtuoso June Jones, will take over Powerhouse Theatre for a night of musical magic.

Theatre and comedy
It’s the final week to witness Queensland Theatre’s much-hyped season finale, Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone, which wraps up at QPAC this Saturday. Expect to laugh, cry, feel inspired and maybe even think a little differently as the stellar cast takes audiences on a journey of romance and struggle through the touching tale of two Vietnam War refugees making a home in America. Vietgone is a one-of-a-kind, genre-bending, Pulp Fiction-style take on a love story told through powerful theatre – all served with a side of humour and hip-hop. It’s an absolute must-see! After rave reviews, the final week is selling fast, so jump to the Queensland Theatre website to secure your seats for this week.

La Boite’s trailblazing season of mainstage productions is wrapping up with the pop-culture fuelled world premiere of IRL, a ferociously funny reflection of what it means to be a teenager searching for love, acceptance and community. Brimming with razor-sharp dialogue, iconic costumes, belly laughs and a whole lot of heart, IRL will strike a chord with anyone who has experienced a crush, first love, been a teenager, found solace in their imagination or questioned their identity. Catch IRL at La Boite’s Roundhouse Theatre from November 6–25. Tickets are available here.

For some mind-bending Saturday night fun, gather the crew and experience Theatre of Magic, which has recently launched its Saturday night residency show in a secret room in the historic Elizabeth Picture Theatre. Kick back with a beverage while magicians and card-masters blow minds with world-class magic, illusions and theatrics right before your eyes.

Must-see exhibitions
Basketball mega-fans can double-dribble their way to The NBA Exhibition at Queens Plaza this weekend. The two-level, 1000-sqm exhibition features 50-plus memorabilia items, virtual and augmented reality experiences, hands-on fun like shooting showcases, and an Infinity Room with surround-sound and footage of some of the league’s most memorable moments.

Nearby in Queen Street Mall, there’s the Museum of Brisbane (MoB) pop-up, open daily throughout November. Swing by for a visit to take part in a participatory installation by Dead Puppet Society and leave a special memory of Brisbane through the custom-made centrepiece, and get a head start on Christmas gifting at the mini pop-up MoB Shop.

Embark on a journey down memory lane and rediscover the quintessential Australian experience of staying at a motel at The Workshops Rail Museum’s newest exhibition, Reception This WayFrom family holidays and long road trips in the sweltering summer heat, to continental breakfasts and mid-century mod cons, this exhibition has it all! The must-see exhibition was developed by National Archives of Australia in collaboration with comedian Tim Ross, and is being proudly hosted by The Workshops Rail Museum until December 12.

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Over at Northshore, free outdoor art exhibition Sculpture By The River has popped up, showcasing head-turning works of some of Queensland’s most renowned sculptors on the Hamilton riverfront. The public is welcome from 10:00 am daily to check out the display of works from local and Queensland artists on both the riverfront walkway and in the Northshore Shed until December 3.

Venture to QAGOMA to get your eyes on sis, an incredible display that showcases three decades of art-making from a sisterhood of Pacific artists, featuring everything from large sculptural installations and compelling video to the most intricate weaving creations. While you’re there, check out Queensland Art Gallery’s newest exhibition, Living Patterns, which focuses on the way audiences perceive and react to artistic elements such as colour, shape and form. Spotlighting contemporary Australian artists like Scott Redford, Jemima Wyman, Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie and many more, this one is a must-see.

The State Library of Queensland is uncovering the role Aboriginal people played in establishing our pastoral industry in its latest collection, Working Country. Peruse the halls of First Nations community space – kuril dhagun – and you will be transported to a time of colonial invasion where, amid upheaval and devastation, working Country became a means of survival. You can wander through this free exhibition until January 2024.

Local Markets
If you’re eager to stroll through some stalls and stock up on some fresh fruit and veg over the weekend, be sure to check out these markets happening – along with the brand-new Northshore Produce Markets, there’s the Saturday Fresh Market, Riverside Markets, Kelvin Grove Village Market, Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Davies Park Market, Carseldine Markets, Nundah Farmers Markets and the Redcliffe Markets. For delicious dinner time eats, Eat Street Northshore is open for your snacking pleasure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Events may be subject to be postponed or cancelled at the last minute. We do our best to remove cancelled events but be sure to check the organiser’s own event page for the most current updates.

Want more? Head to our comprehensive Event Guide for all of the fun around town where you can search by category, date, location and more!

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